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Brew on this!

Café culture in Shrewsbury has been captured by local artist Marie Kitson using recycled teabags and the results are stunning. Writes My Shrewsbury's Katy Rink

Art teacher Marie Kitson moved to Shrewsbury 18 months ago and loves the range of quirky and independent cafes here. In fact, she loves them so much, she decided to paint 20 of them on recycled teabags!

Marie, who is between jobs, having taken a break from teaching secondary Art, said: “I chose cafés because of the link to cups of tea (a very British thing). My husband Paul and I like to pop into town for breakfast at the weekend and it’s a challenge to see if we can try a new café each time.

“I like the small format of painting on teabags. I love that they are being recycled and the staining from the actual tea creates a lovely texture and tone to work on. It wasn’t difficult, just a little fiddly at times. Each design takes approximately one hour.”

Social media response has been immense on the community group ‘For the Love of Shrewsbury’ and on My Shrewsbury’s Facebook page and Marie was invited into the BBC Radio Shropshire studio to discuss the project.

She said: “The first few hours after posting to the For the Love of Shrewsbury Facebook page and on my Twitter account was manic - I thought my phone would vibrate off the table.

“I’ve done commissions for family and friends but they were always one offs - I’ve never done such a range and I’ve definitely never had such a reaction on social media.

“Some of the cafés have already been in contact asking if I’m willing to sell (which I am). I’m also planning to capture Shrewsbury’s large selection of pubs (I think there are about 70+ so that will keep me busy for a little bit). There are so many unusual, quirky and older buildings locally which is part of the appeal of recording them all.”

Marie is amazed at the positive response to her teabags: “Hopefully it might be a little bit of light relief rather than the usual doom and gloom,” she said.

“Shrewsbury is a stunning little place with so much to offer to a real range of people. Since moving here I have encouraged so many others to come and visit and they have loved it too.”

We look forward to seeing her new selection of pub paintings - on teabags of course.

Obviously, she empties the tea out first!

Follow Marie on Facebook at ArtTea Shrewsbury.

My Shrewsbury magazine

My Shrewsbury is our town's dedicated, bi-monthly local magazine, packed with quirky features about personalities, places and events and showcasing the very best local writers, artists and photographers.  It has a bold aim to be the best hyper-local magazine in the country and always loves to hear from readers!